The cat is out of the bag, as far as which familiar faces you can expect to see in Criminal Minds‘ final two episodes, airing back-to-back next Wednesday, Feb. 19. So turn back now if you want to save yourself some swell surprises.
CBS issued official press releases for the episodes, the first of which is titled “Face Off” and commemorates the first anniversary of Rossi nearly dying at the hands of Everett Lynch aka The Chameleon (played by Castle alum Michael Mosley). When David develops some new theories with inspiration from his former partner, a young Jason Gideon (returning guest star Ben Savage), the BAU team sets out on an epic hunt to capture the elusive adversary.
Then, in the series finale, titled “And in the End” and co-written by showrunner Erica Messer and cast member Kirsten Vangsness, “Following an explosive face-to-face encounter with The Chameleon, Dr. Reid suffers from a brain injury and, while experiencing hallucinations, is visited by ghosts from his past.”
Said ghosts, as revealed in the press release, include late section chief Erin Strauss (played again by Jayne Atkinson), Seasons 4/5 foe George Foyet aka the Reaper (C. Thomas Howell) and, yes, Spencer’s dearly departed love, Maeve Donovan (Beth Riesgraf).
Jane Lynch also guest-stars in the series ender, as Spencer’s mother, Diana, while some nifty flashbacks to Season 1 evoke a few other old friends, such as Thomas Gibson’s Hotch and Mandy Patinkin’s own Gideon. “What I’d love to do is honor the history of the series in some way that is satisfying for all of us,” Messer previously said of her finale plan and any possible encores.
Messer also told TVLine at the start of the season, which was actually filmed last spring, that original cast member Shemar Moore was “very busy shooting S.W.A.T.” and couldn’t swing a return visit as Derek Morgan.
Capping the series finale, “the entire BAU team comes together to celebrate Rossi’s retirement”… and maybe something more.